Bubba has been rewired twice - most recently last year after The Media Center acquired it. Bubba's equipment was upgraded from analog to digital.
Joe Stevens, left, and Dan Shreve show off Bubba, the satellite uplink truck that makes their company stand out. Stevens and Shreve can manage pictures from up to four cameras and feed audio and video to satellites with their truck. (Photo by Tom Hindman)
CHARLESTON -- The Media Center is in the business of getting out a message.
And business has been good for the Charleston-based company that isn't even two years old yet.
The company was started in October 2005 by Dan Shreve and Joe Stevens to aid partners in managing their corporate message. Shreve said the company can provide services such as public relations and marketing, Web sites and interactive videos.
"But what gives us the most exposure is the satellite truck," he said. "We're a resource of the various news outlets."
The satellite truck, known as Bubba, is a 15-ton state-of-the-art behemoth.
"We've taken the satellite truck and added another convention to its use, public relations and marketing," Shreve, director of operations and production, said. "With one call, they get the whole package.
"We found this niche of being this conduit between two operations. We understand how the news operations work and we can be a resource to both news and business."
Shreve also said The Media Center helps him continue doing something he loves.
"I'm basically a storyteller at heart," he said. "We're telling stories. We're helping people with stories get their stories out."
Before co-founding The Media Center, Shreve produced videos and broadcast documentaries at Motion Masters and won several awards. Before that, he worked at WCHS-TV and WOWK-TV locally and at WAVY in Norfolk, Va.
Stevens' background is in public relations and reporting. He was communications director at Snowshoe Mountain Resort for 15 years. Before that, he was a reporter for the Virginia News Network and AP Radio.
Some of the jobs that The Media Center has worked on have been working with Gov. Joe Manchin on a motorcycle safety video, working with CNN in New York on Election Day 2006 and helping to shoot a coal mining safety video.
But perhaps the biggest assignment they've handled so far is April's Virginia Tech tragedy.
"The experience that we had while covering that was enlightening and humbling," Stevens, director of communications and development, said. "We were there with international media. Literally the whole world was watching and we were there providing coverage."
But The Media Center also is ready to work with law firms and other businesses to help them get their messages out.
The firm could provide on-the-scene reports that companies could use to promote special events and reports that could be picked up by media companies for their news broadcasts.
For example, Stevens and Shreve could help a business set up a satellite tour.
"If a law firm has a case and it is looking for public relations, the satellite truck can do that," Shreve said. "But it has to be a newsworthy item."
"If there was a significant case that a firm was working on that had a lot of notoriety and they had to do a news conference, if it had relevance ... we could work with the law firm so we could provide live coverage of the conference," he said. "Our package includes satellite truck service and 50 years of production, news and public relations experience between us."